- “I'm proud. Proud to have you inherit my fortune. You showed real De Vil backbone.”
- ―Malevola choosing Cruella as her heir
Malevola and her husband neglected Cruella when she was young, always spending Christmas away and even seemed to hint not remembering their own daughter's name. Due to this neglect, young Cruella wanted a Dalmatian puppy to give her the love and affection her father and mother never did. A buildup of neglected Christmases is what caused Cruella to go mad ("A Christmas Cruella"). Thus, if The Series was meant to somewhat share the continuity of the animated films, Malevola can be considered greatly responsible for all the misadventures. If she had not constantly mistreated Cruella, chances are she never would have snapped in the first place.
Malevola shows little love for her descendants, except for Ivy De Vil. She has two big, fierce dogs named Cerberus and Cujo. She appeared in the episode "Coup DeVil", where she called a family reunion at Villa De Vil to give the other De Vils a chance to get the Dearly Farm, and the one who succeeds would be Malevola's heir. It is revealed that the only reason Cruella wants to buy the farm is to please her mother.
After many failed attempts, Cruella snaps and stands up to her mother by lamenting about all that she hates about her. Her ranting, however, pleases Malevola, as she believes it takes some guts to stand up to one's own mother. As a result, this finally earns Cruella her mother's respect and make Malevola choose Cruella as her heir.
Disney Villains: The Top Secret Files
In this book, her name is Dementia De Vil. It is mentioned that she worked as a fashion designer.
- Main article: Baroness Von Hellman
The live-action prequel film establishes Cruella/Estella as being the daughter of a powerful fashion mogul named Baroness Von Hellman. She is abandoned by her and raised by the Baroness' former maid named Catherine Miller.
- In original concept art for Malevola, she was shown to be a rather obese but younger-looking woman, similar to Cruella. However, in the actual episode, she is shown to be old and frail.
- Malevola may have served as a source of inspiration for Azma from The Emperor's New School; both characters have a similar physical appearance, role purpose, and character background.
- In the TV series Once Upon a Time, Cruella's mother appears in one episode ("Sympathy for the De Vil"). Her name is Madeline and she tries to stop Cruella from killing people (her fathers), but then she got killed by her own Dalmatians when Cruella obtained the power to control animals.
- An image of her can be seen in the De Vil family gallery as Spot looks up Judge Dimsdale De Vil in "DeVil-Age Elder".
- In Disney Villains: The Top Secret Files, Cruella's mother is named Dementia.
- In Brazil, Maleficent is known as Malevola.
- In Descendants, she is also the grandmother of Carlos De Vil and Diego De Vil.